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Germantown Academy Upper School Students See Success at Science Fairs

Thirty-four Germantown Academy Upper School Science Research students competed at the Montgomery County Science Research Competition (MCSRC) on March 22, directed by Phil Rittenhouse 1760. In total, 32 students earned first, second, or thirds place awards, and qualified for the Delaware Valley Science Fair (DVSF) in the process. 

On April 5, 26 Upper School Science Research students competed at the Delaware Valley Science Fair (DVSF), which includes schools from the Lehigh Valley to southern Delaware, and from Chester County to the New Jersey shore. In total, 19 students earned first, second, third or Honorable Mention awards or special awards. Students won over $12,000 worth of prize money and additional gifts of swag, memberships, and trips from professional organizations and private companies, in addition to university scholarships.

In addition, Sam Wang '23 received the 12th Grade Silver Medal Award for his project "Rapid Cardiac Screening using Deep Learning," which qualified him for the international Science & Engineering Fair, which will be held in Dallas from May 13-19. 

"I created a deep learning workflow to analyze an echocardiogram video and assess heart function in five seconds with significantly improved accuracy than that of manual analysis," Wang said. "I deployed my algorithm to a Raspberry Pi ($70 microcomputer), Amazon Web Services, and laptops, and also created an iOS app. These allow doctors to upload videos and get analysis results. This technology has the potential to democratize cardiac care by enabling non-experts to perform cardiac screening at points of care, emergency rooms, rural areas, or developing countries, where cardiology expertise is limited."

Wang said that he found inspiration for the project a few years ago when his grandmother passed away from heart failure. Through online research, he learned that heart disease is prevalent, and that early diagnosis can save lives. Wang said he found that echocardiography, a commonly used diagnostic tool for heart disease, is time-consuming and has an error rate of up to 30 percent.

Wang added that he received guidance from biology teacher and Director of Independent Science Research Sarah Kesten, biology teacher Cecilia Kim, Computer Science Department Chair Jason Oswald, and science teacher and Upper School Science Department Chair Jamie Anderson, all of whom helped him develop his skills through the engineering process.  

"I have always been passionate about computer science and wanted to apply my knowledge in deep learning to create real-world solutions," Wang said. "It was an honor to receive a 12th grade Silver Medal at DVSF and participate in ISEF. I look forward to meeting and learning from fellow student researchers in Dallas."


Grade Name Place at MCSRC DVSF? Place at DVSF Awards
9 Devon Geist 3rd DVSF  

Community College of Philadelphia Summer Advance College Experience (ACE) Scholarship (DVSF)

9 Aarav Kevadia 3rd DVSF  

MCSTA Engineering Award (MCSRC)

9 Gabe Meinstein 1st DVSF 3rd  
9 Steven Tunison 1st DVSF 1st

Yegnesh Family Mathematics Award (MCSRC)

10 Sanya Bandekar 1st DVSF 1st

PA Society for Biomedical Research Award in Veterinary Medicine (MCSRC)

10 Taryn DiFranco 3rd DVSF   MCCC Award (MCSRC)
10 Aidan Gor 1st DVSF Honorable Mention Steve and Mary Beth Young Medicine & Health Award (MCSRC)
10 Luke Hu 1st DVSF   Schrodinger Inc Computer Science Award (MCSRC)
10 Jianna Kim 3rd DVSF 3rd MCSTA Biochemistry Award (MCSRC)
10 Ada Leeds 2nd DVSF Honorable Mention

Madeleine Dean Congressional Award for Outstanding Research (MCSRC)

Harcum College Microbiology Award (MCSRC)

10 Elena Lin 2nd DVSF 3rd Schrodinger Inc Chemistry Award (MCSRC)
10 Misimi Owolabi 3rd DVSF    
10 Roma Reddy 2nd DVSF 3rd MCSTA Botany Award (MCSRC)
10 Katherine Song 2nd DVSF    
10 Alycia Steck 1st DVSF 3rd


10 Winston Sun 1st DVSF Honorable Mention Rita C. Mesthos Behavioral Science Award (MCSRC)
10 Eileen Wang 2nd DVSF Honorable Mention

Women Geologist Award (MCSRC)

10 Larry Zhan 2nd DVSF Honorable Mention MCSTA Behavioral & Social Science Award (MCSRC)
10 Roy Zhao 1st DVSF 2nd

MCSTA Earth Science Award (MCSRC)

11 Saloni Bhatia 3rd DVSF  

Montgomery Bucks Dental Society Award (MCSRC)

11 Zara Bhatt 2nd DVSF  


11 AJ DiFranco 1st DVSF Honorable Mention

GSK Integrated Biological Platform Award (MCSRC)

Delaware Audubon Society (DVSF)

DelVal Mission Scholarship (DVSF)

11 Lucy Fassler 2nd DVSF  


11 Brianna Geist 3rd DVSF  


11 Sam Kostacos 2nd DVSF    
11 Alan Liu      

Naval Research Computer Science Award (MCSRC)

11 Luke Philip 2nd DVSF  

PA Society for Professional Engineers Award (MCSRC)

11 Mario Toscano 2nd DVSF   MCSTA Computer Science Award (MCSRC)
12 Raina Bandekar 1st DVSF 1st

Merck Special Award (MCSRC)

MCSTA Zoology Award (MCSRC)

Statistical Analysis Award (MCSRC)

DelVal Mission Scholarship (DVSF)

12 Yash Chadda      


12 Kayla D'Eletto 1st DVSF 1st

GSK integrated Biological Platform Award (MCSRC)

Janssen Biotechnology Research Award (DVSF)

DelVal Mission Scholarship (DVSF)

12 Aayush Kevadia 1st DVSF   Steve and Mary Beth Young Biochemistry Award (MCSRC)
12 Joseph Richards 1st DVSF   MCSTA Physics Award (MCSRC)
12 Sarah Beth Sandifer 3rd DVSF 2nd DelVal Mission Scholarship (DVSF)
12 Samuel Wang 1st DVSF 1st

Merck Special Award (MCSRC)

12 Grade Silver Medal Award (DVSF)

Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association Award (DVSF)

DelVal Mission Scholarship (DVSF)